Jurassic 5 is ready to take on the world. Again. But not before they play San Diego.
Kicking off their latest tour at Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay on July 8, the four-emcee/two-DJ ensemble will travel to Norway, Croatia, England and beyond through September.
J5’s classic hip-hop and old school b-boy vibes won audiences for a dozen years before they parted ways in 2007. But they started an improbable second run with an acclaimed Coachella reunion show in 2013. Things went well enough that the group returned to the stage full time, including a career-spanning, 35-song set on the inaugural date of the 2014 Del Mar Racetrack Concert Series.
While the nontraditional sextet have proved that six years off only strengthened their live show, they’re being far more cautious when it comes to making new music.
“We do have some irons in the fire,” Dante Givens (aka Akil the MC) told DiscoverSD from his home in Atlanta. “But nowadays, the life expectancy of a song is something like two days (laughs). In this new age, we just want to make sure that everything we do is very tangible.”
For a band that was broken up when the online music world was really taking hold, how to distribute new product is proving to be the biggest challenge. Jurassic 5’s last full-length, “Feedback,” was released in 2006. The Heavy D-produced track, “The Way We Do It,” actually came out last year, but it was recorded nearly a decade earlier.
Still, no one is in any kind of rush. The adage about haste and waste has become the band’s golden rule.
“We do have a live album recorded,” Givens said. “But music has changed so much in the time since we put out our last record. I mean, it’s not like people even have CD players anymore. So we’re not rushing anything. For us, it’s more about developing a strategic plan to get the music to the people.”
At least for now, that plan relies heavily on ensuring that the group continues to deliver dynamic performances - something that Givens believes is both bringing in a new generation of fans and integral to the band’s longevity.
“We won our audience with live shows,” he said. “We’ve never had any huge hits. But when people come see us live, it sure seems like we do. We saw it at Coachella. We hadn’t had new music in eight years and people were partying like we just came out. Our music is being handed down to a whole new demographic. And the music is really resonating with them.”
Despite also touring as a solo artist for many years, Givens is releasing his first-ever solo album this year - a digital giveaway titled “Sound Check.” But as for Jurassic 5, the focus is firmly on the next few months of live shows.
“We’re aware this is a second chance,” Givens said. “And we’re very appreciative of that. But no one wants to tarnish this legacy we’re trying to build. We want things to be tangible in this nontangible world.”
Scott McDonald is a writer, on-air personality and consultant with 15 years of experience in the San Diego music scene. He has interviewed hundreds of artists, from the legendary to the underground, for print and television. Follow McDonald and his melodic musings on Twitter @eight24_ or Instagram @scotteight24. Send your music musts to firstname.lastname@example.org.